Netflix Responds, Will Bring Sortable Lists BackBy: Chris Richardson - July 12, 2011
Some of your complaints about the new Netflix interface have been heard, apparently. Scrolling and sortable lists have been addressed, although, the overall redesign is still in place, much to the chagrin of those who wanted a complete rollback.
When Netflix first launched their redesign, you might’ve thought someone set the Internet on fire, judging by all the responses. While the vitriol felt like it was coming from an outspoken minority, these reactions were not filled with impressed feelings concerning the new scroll-happy interface. In fact, they were downright ugly. In fact, some Netflix members were driven to bouts of sickness over the new UI, provided they weren’t embellishing the truth:
Speaking as a person who suffers from motion sickness, the new design actually makes me quite nauseous, and sadly I have to turn away from my screen until the row stops to view the titles.
And then there’s this exercise in hyperbole:
Not cool Netflix!!! The redesign is terrible!!!! Please change it back!!! The service provided by Netflix has been a part of my home since 2007 and I have never had anything to complain about. However, this “redesign” or more aptly put “CATASTROPHE” is the worst thing to happen in functionality and asthetics [sic] the world over, in human history!!! Change it back, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The reaction at the Netflix blog was no better, and it should be noted there wasn’t very much in the way of a defense for the redesign, either. Granted, some of us at WebProNews didn’t share the apocalyptic outlook, but our voices were simply shouted down.
Apparently, Netflix has listened to some of your more constructive criticisms and have tweaked the design a little bit. No, it’s not a return the old Netflix interface, but there have been some alterations. The Netflix blog details the tweaks:
The horizontal scrolling functionality that was jittery for some should be reduced now that we’ve disabled scrolling to the left until you’ve first scrolled to the right. We’re bringing sortable lists back. You’ll see them return later this month.
As the post indicates, the major change — sortable lists — isn’t active yet, but the scrolling improvements are. Much like the blog entry says, users cannot scroll the movie lists to the left until scrolling to the right is activated. While such an alteration comes across as minor, will it be enough to quell the dissatisfaction the outspoken users felt? Will the promise of a return of sortable lists? Judging by the comments for the latest post, it doesn’t look that way:
Timothy McNeil · Forest Park, Illinois
Still unfriendly to the user. Please restore member names/avatars to reviews in addition to sortable feature. I will continue to keep my money until you do.
Sawyer Pangborn · Utah
Horizontal scrolling is still stupid and un-intuitive, especially when there aren’t any visible scrollbars. Time to go back to the drawing board again, guys. Maybe hire a UX designer while you’re at it.
It should be noted that the initial redesign post had 5000 comments, while the post referencing scrolling and sortable lists only has nine, and eight of them are from unhappy users who haven’t been able to get comfortable with the new user interface. Nine people out of the millions of Netflix members isn’t a great percentage, and if 5000 comments can’t initiate a site-wide rollback, it’s doubtful a handful of them will, either.
As for the scrolling change — no left until you scroll right — seems unnecessary and cosmetic, but apparently, some users were really unhappy with the all the scrolling that’s present in the new Netflix interface. Is such an insignificant alteration merely an attempt at pacification, because it doesn’t do much to the overall user experience? Does the idea of sortable lists placate you, especially if you were one of the unsatisfied?